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La Rêveuse - London circa 1720: Corelli's Legacy

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London circa 1720: Corelli's Legacy

La Rêveuse, Benjamin Perrot and Florence Bolton

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French Baroque ensemble La Rêveuse's first project for harmonia mundi (having hopped over from Mirare) is a celebration of the London's music scene during the first two decades of the eighteenth century – a time when dwindling royal patronage had sparked off a new cultural economy based on public concerts and the widespread amateur music-making these inspired, establishing the city as an international epicentre for cultural vibrancy and innovation, and thus the obvious destination for any musician wanting to make their fortune. Especially the Italians, off the back of the British mania for Corelli's Opus 6 collection of concerti grossi.

Of course, much as that premise has all the potential for a sparkling recording, it's still eminently possible to end up with something sounding no different to any other Baroque concerto programme, so it's a joy to discover that not only does La Rêveuse's offering genuinely fizz, but also that it sounds genuinely distinctive; the former quality being down to their playing's combination of lucid-textured joyous energy and supple technical elegance (plus some wonderfully immediate and luminous engineering), and the latter thanks to them having mostly eschewed the Italian violin concertos everyone usually reaches for in favour of concertos for one of multiple recorders, plus repertoire for viola da gamba – an instrument which had largely had its day on the professional scene by this point, but which was still enthusiastically played by amateurs.

Consequently their curtain-raiser is William Babell's magnificent Concerto II Op. 3 for sixth flute (a bright-sounding Baroque recorder sitting closest in size and range to the standard soprano/descent), which would have been played in theatres during opera intervals. Here it sounds nothing less than ravishing, luminous-toned duetting violins poetically setting the scene before Sébastien Marq's recorder soars in gracefully over the top to begin its songful chirruping.

Two further recorder-shaped highlights come from the pen of Johann Christian Schickhardt. First chamber music in the form of a sprightly performance of his reworking of Corelli Op. 6 movements into a trio for two alto recorders and continuo, aimed at the amateur musician market; then his own Concerto II Op. 19 for two recorders and two traverso flutes, played here with sublime tones and blending.

La Rêveuse then take the genius decision to end not with another operatic shout, but instead with opera music recast for home music making: Haymarket Theatre bassoonist Pietro Chaboud's intimate bass viol and continuo arrangement of Nicola Francesco Haym's soulful aria, “Thus with thirst my souls expiring”, delectably brought off here by ensemble directors Florence Bolton on viol and Benjamin Perrot on theorbo. Highly recommended. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz

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London circa 1720: Corelli's Legacy

La Rêveuse

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1
Concerto No. II for sixth flute in D Major, Op. 3: I. Adagio - Allegro
00:02:11

William Babell, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

2
Concerto No. II for sixth flute in D Major, Op. 3: II. Adagio
00:03:02

William Babell, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

3
Concerto No. II for sixth flute in D Major, Op. 3: III. Allegro
00:03:13

William Babell, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

4
Sonata No. IV in D Major, Op. 1, H. 4: I. Adagio
00:01:47

Francesco Geminiani, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

5
Sonata No. IV in D Major, Op. 1, H. 4: II. Allegro
00:02:30

Francesco Geminiani, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

6
Sonata No. IV in D Major, Op. 1, H. 4: III. Grave
00:01:07

Francesco Geminiani, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

7
Sonata No. IV in D Major, Op. 1, H. 4: IV. [Allegro]
00:01:41

Francesco Geminiani, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

8
Sonata No. IV in F Major, Op. 6: I. Largo - Allegro - Adagio - Allegro - Adagio - Allegro - Adagio
00:02:28

Arcangelo Corelli, Composer - Johann Christian Schickhardt, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

9
Sonata No. IV in F Major, Op. 6: II. Allegro
00:01:52

Arcangelo Corelli, Composer - Johann Christian Schickhardt, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

10
Sonata No. IV in F Major, Op. 6: III. Grave - Andante Largo
00:02:05

Arcangelo Corelli, Composer - Johann Christian Schickhardt, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

11
Sonata No. IV in F Major, Op. 6: IV. [Allegro]
00:02:11

Arcangelo Corelli, Composer - Johann Christian Schickhardt, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

12
Concerto a quattro in D Minor: I. Adagio
00:02:13

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

13
Concerto a quattro in D Minor: II. Allegro
00:01:41

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

14
Concerto a quattro in D Minor: III. Largo
00:01:36

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

15
Concerto a quattro in D Minor: IV. [Allegro]
00:02:03

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

16
Concerto No. II, Op. 19: I. Allegro
00:02:13

Johann Christian Schickhardt, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

17
Concerto No. II, Op. 19: II. Adagio
00:04:02

Johann Christian Schickhardt, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

18
Concerto No. II, Op. 19: III. Vivace
00:01:39

Johann Christian Schickhardt, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

19
Concerto No. II, Op. 19: IV. [Allegro]
00:01:59

Johann Christian Schickhardt, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

20
Sonata per la viola da gamba in G Minor, HWV 364b: I. Andante larghetto
00:02:04

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

21
Sonata per la viola da gamba in G Minor, HWV 364b: II. Allegro
00:01:58

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

22
Sonata per la viola da gamba in G Minor, HWV 364b: III. Adagio
00:00:47

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

23
Sonata per la viola da gamba in G Minor, HWV 364b: IV. [Allegro]
00:02:19

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

24
Admeto, HWV 22: No. 5b. Aria "Spera si mio caro bene" (Arr. for flute and basso continuo)
00:07:15

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

25
Pyrrhus and Demetrius: Aria "Thus with thirst my souls expiring" (Arr. for flute and basso continuo)
00:05:00

Nicola Francesco Haym, Composer - Benjamin Perrot, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - La Rêveuse, Ensemble, MainArtist - Florence Bolton, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 harmonia mundi 2020 harmonia mundi / La Rêveuse

Album Description

French Baroque ensemble La Rêveuse's first project for harmonia mundi (having hopped over from Mirare) is a celebration of the London's music scene during the first two decades of the eighteenth century – a time when dwindling royal patronage had sparked off a new cultural economy based on public concerts and the widespread amateur music-making these inspired, establishing the city as an international epicentre for cultural vibrancy and innovation, and thus the obvious destination for any musician wanting to make their fortune. Especially the Italians, off the back of the British mania for Corelli's Opus 6 collection of concerti grossi.

Of course, much as that premise has all the potential for a sparkling recording, it's still eminently possible to end up with something sounding no different to any other Baroque concerto programme, so it's a joy to discover that not only does La Rêveuse's offering genuinely fizz, but also that it sounds genuinely distinctive; the former quality being down to their playing's combination of lucid-textured joyous energy and supple technical elegance (plus some wonderfully immediate and luminous engineering), and the latter thanks to them having mostly eschewed the Italian violin concertos everyone usually reaches for in favour of concertos for one of multiple recorders, plus repertoire for viola da gamba – an instrument which had largely had its day on the professional scene by this point, but which was still enthusiastically played by amateurs.

Consequently their curtain-raiser is William Babell's magnificent Concerto II Op. 3 for sixth flute (a bright-sounding Baroque recorder sitting closest in size and range to the standard soprano/descent), which would have been played in theatres during opera intervals. Here it sounds nothing less than ravishing, luminous-toned duetting violins poetically setting the scene before Sébastien Marq's recorder soars in gracefully over the top to begin its songful chirruping.

Two further recorder-shaped highlights come from the pen of Johann Christian Schickhardt. First chamber music in the form of a sprightly performance of his reworking of Corelli Op. 6 movements into a trio for two alto recorders and continuo, aimed at the amateur musician market; then his own Concerto II Op. 19 for two recorders and two traverso flutes, played here with sublime tones and blending.

La Rêveuse then take the genius decision to end not with another operatic shout, but instead with opera music recast for home music making: Haymarket Theatre bassoonist Pietro Chaboud's intimate bass viol and continuo arrangement of Nicola Francesco Haym's soulful aria, “Thus with thirst my souls expiring”, delectably brought off here by ensemble directors Florence Bolton on viol and Benjamin Perrot on theorbo. Highly recommended. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz

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